I always dreamed to have a nice airsoft rifle, and especially a M16 rifle. Nowadays there are a lot of brands on the market when we are talking about M16 series; Systema, Marui, CA, ICS, G&P, G&G etc. Marui has been known for there great AEG’s, because they were very durable and literally never broke down. Also Systema is well known because of their durable parts and exelent finish on their rifle's. But I was looking for something different, more solid, something heavier and something more smashing and not to expensive. In search for something matching all my preferences I was looking at the Classic Army range of M15 Armalite rifle’s. The one who immediately became my favorite was the M15A4 Rifle. This is just a personal question here and a matter of taste. My first thoughts were; Should I buy this rather new kind of equipment from CA? Heard several bad stories, had some negative advice on them but finally there he was...
[CA M15A4 R out of the box]
I would like to thank Classic Army and in special Sergio from VISELE Classic Army Italia for providing this review model. We are very glad to do a review of this rifle ourselves. Thanks for your great support and effort for this review!
Facts and features
Let’s start with the facts of this rifle. What is this gun able to? These are the stock specifications listed in the Classic Army voucher and the additional manual supplied with the gun. You can find this manual at the end of the review. Later on we will test the rifle if all the facts are really true.
Product Name CA M15A4 Rifle
Model Number AR003M
Barrel Length 510mm
Barrel Caliber 6.08mm
Bullet Capacity 300
Bullet 6mm BB
Initial Bullet Speed 85-95 m/sec or 280.5 - 313.5 fps
Battery Type Large Type (8.4V - 12V)
In this part we will briefly provide some more background information about Classic Army themself and there previous M15 series. Classic Army also known as Yick Fung Industrial International Ltd. is located in Hong Kong. Here their company profile as stated on their website:
With experience in die casting and CNC computerized manufacturing, Yick Fung is one of the largest airsoft gun manufacturers in South East Asia.
We specialize in producing 1:1 scale metal casting airsoft guns, metallic accessories and spare parts under our brand name "Classic Army". Our replica products present a sense of realism.
With our good endeavor in providing high quality airsoft guns, wide range of metallic accessories and spare parts, we have gained a good reputation in this industry. Many training schools for SWAT and law enforcement units in the world also use our rifles for training.
The delicate design and the finest furnishings of the metal body is very popular and being presented on the MP5, M15 and M24 gun series. Especially the M15, because of the real gun logo - ArmaLite is used and each rifle has a serial number, this raises the interest of collection among users.
Classic Army and their M15 series. Classic Army is well known for their full metal body AEG’s, have failed numerous time in trying to surpass Marui is terms of quality and value. In the previous gun series of the M15 there were a lot of mistakes made and there were many complaints. The plastic that the stock and foregrip were made from being far too weak, and prone to snapping, the barrel tightening ring lubs snap off, the foregrip fell off far to easily, the gearboxes regularly jammed etc. Just to mention several problems. Because of there many failures in creating quality AEG’s many players and dealers alike have decided not to buy them. Classic Army had bad reputation. But Classic Army came back and has released yet another version of the M15 series named the “Classic Army M15A4 AEG's”. This time with legal trademarks of Armalite Inc., steel gears, pre-upgraded, high speed and high torque motor, and under 300 dollars it seems like a nice deal. And sure they have improved their rifle this time! The official list looks like this:
* New Metal Body - ‘Armalite’ Real Gun Logo / Laser Script
* Improved material of Hard Grip, Fore grip and Retractable Stock (Change from Plastic to Nylon & Glass Fiber)
* Individual Series no. will be added
* New Gears will be used (high speed gears and motor)
* Re-enforced Adaptor Ring for Fore grip
* New Version of Hop-up Chamber & Rubber
* High Speed & High Torque Motor
* Harder Fixed Stock which can use 10.8 V battery
* This review model also got the latest fiberglass improved stock and hand guard.
Here are my first thoughts when i saw this rifle. Taking the gun out of the box and immediately checking all the mistakes of the previous version I was truly impressed. Holding it made me think, “This is what you call a rifle!”. The rifle felt a lot better than the Tokyo Marui series I have played with. The glass fiber reinforced hand grip and sliding stock is the first difference I notice. Compared to the TM M733 the hand grip feels not so smooth and toy like. It feels more realistic. I was also astonished by the metal body, it is a great feeling and it makes the gun rock solid! The trademarks of Armalite inc. look very nice, even as the serial number which makes your gun unique. They are both laser printed and that gives a nice professional look. Overal I really had the "wow!" effect :)
[Metal Body & Trademarks]
The metal body feels sturdy, just like a metal body should be. The metal body adds a lot of weight to it, and makes it cold to the touch giving the user an added sense of realism. A definite plus here, compared to Classic Army metal body in the past. The bod of a Marui can't even come close. I also like the color of it, Classic Army made there a solid black. A very nice touch. One minor thing is, that when you look very carefully you could see the difference between several materials used. There is a slight difference in color between the metal body and the fire selector fore example. But this is hardly worth mentioning.
The hop-up is similar to the Tokyo Marui M4A1, but by pulling the charging handle will Nnot open up the dust cover. Instead Classic Army did a more innovative solution which is more durable. They used magnets to open and close the dust cover. In the past I had my dust cover latch break, and I think this is a better solution. it works perfect during the use.
[Hop-Up unit with dust cover open]
The removable carrying handle is also made in a nice metal version, the design is similar to most of the M16 rifle series, it has also the standard adjustable sights. With the carrying handle taken off, it turns the m15 into a flat top receiver to put scopes mounts and other accessories on the top rail. There are a lot of accesoires available nowadays, but we won’t go into detail in this review. At the end i will finished with a nice picture of the CA M15A4 R with several accesoires added.
The battery is stocked at the back of the rifle in the new designed fiberglass reinforced stock. The stock is made really nice and looks perfect. The material used feels good and sturdy. The stock can fit a 10.8V 2000mah battery, there is no modification needed at all! The battery cover is nicely made of metal and has a firm lock on it, no moving parts there. So do not hesitate to go for a 10.8V battery because this will lead to optimal performance. Some people say a even a 12V battery can fit, but i would not advise to use a 12V battery to extend the lifetime of your airsoft rifle.
The grips also looks and feels good as mentioned before. It has a nice finished and is solid. However a friend of mine fell on his gun during the games and his grip was broken at the end, also his motor was highly damaged. So the grip isn't rock solid ;) Just use the rifle properly and there won't be a problem.
Magazine's are also very important. What about a gun without BB's and a lot of feeding problems? Useless! Therefore we also take a quick look at the magazine included in this package. The magazine fits needly into the metal body. I also used an EasyCompany Thermold mag in this rifle, Diemaco style all the way ;), and there were no problems at all. Fits good and feeding went well. Compared to a TM magazine, they are nearly identically, there might be a slight difference in color... Classic Army provides several different Magazines, to start with a 68rd low cap magazine, a 190rd mid cap and a 300rd high cap!
A quick look on the internal parts. Takedown, Inside the gearbox, Stripping the gearbox etc. We did not yet do an internal investigation because the gun didn't need to have one. Sofar no internal problems, when we need to fix something, we will add our impressions to this review.
This gun is really a pleasure to use during the games. I now tried it for a couple of months and it just works fine! No jams, no feeding problems, no broken parts, no hop-up problems etc. So the mechanical side of the gun is just fin. I am also very satisfied about the performance of the gun. I did not experience any outrange by other rifle's :) Also the accuracy and the reliability is something where you can count on with this gun. The feel is also good, it is heavy indeed, but that's the way it is. You really feel you've got a rifle between your hands! Besides many people argue that a rifle is way to long during the games. This is offcourse always a matter of taste and habituation but personally i don't think this gun is TOO long, maybe also because I am about 195cm.
[During the game...]
Off course we did also a FPS test. We need to mention that we tested the rifle with 0,20 Gr KSC BB's and the excellent Guarder SPEEDER-2000 chrony. And we were very supprised here again. The gun shoots on average 330 fps out of the box! This is a very nice result for a stock gun at this price level. The mayor peak was at 342,5 FPS and the lower limit was at 305 FPS. So when you buy this rifle you don't need to worry about an upgrade at all! We did also a test 2 year after the purchase, the gun now shoots at 304 FPS with up's and downs of 5 FPS, still very good and consistant.
Grouping is a very important issue and here are our test results. This CA M15A4 Rifle performs good and has grouping of 6cm by 8cm. We used the standard target of [NL] Airsoft.com and printed it on a A4 paper and we shoot from 10 meters we also need to mention that we used an Elcan scope here during the test which was configured well. See the results below...
It seems that after all what classic army has done in the past, they have deffenately learned from there mistakes, and made a superb rifle for a affordable price. With all the tests passed, I feel this gun is a great gun, it has a high rate of fire, it’s quite durable for now, and it’s a great value for all you get. But there are a few problems which i discovered and however they are minor problems i would like to mention them:
* As i discribed in the usage section i had a problem with the fire selector at the beginning. I needed to open the gearbox to fix te problem. Now it is working properly.
* Also the color difference on the metal used is a very small issue.
* After 2 years of usage, the hop-up unit does not stick well anymore, it loosens back to zero when shooting 2 or 3 times, very frustrating. A new hop-up unit is needed!
Besides those minor problems the gun works realy fine. All Marui magazines including the 190 hicap, Classic Army Magazines, and G&P magazines work well with it. So to close with, I would say Classic Army’s M15A4 Rifle is a must have! And here is a nice picture of the rifle louded with several additional accesoiries.
[Ca M15A4 Rifle & Accesoiries]
We have scanned the manuals included with this gun. Click on the images to enlarge and find some usefull operating information.